01 April 2024

Macdermott finds back of the net, as Mullins bags final-day hat-trick

01 April 2024

After a five-timer at Fairyhouse on Sunday, it was a slightly quieter afternoon for the all-conquering Willie Mullins on the final day of the track’s Easter meeting.

While hopes were high for his runners in the feature BoyleSports Irish Grand National, the Closutton representatives were out of luck, with 20-1 chance Minella Cocooner faring best in third under Danny Mullins.

That said, it was still a hat-trick of winners for the champion trainer, after Implicit got him off the mark in the opener before he finished with a double in the two races that brought the curtain down on the card.

It was Minella Cocooner’s rider who got Macdermott (5-1) home in front in the first of those, the Envirogreen Building Services Handicap Chase over three miles and half a furlong.

Mullins said: “He’s been running over trips that were too short, but we couldn’t find races for him.

“Today was the first time he got his ground and trip. He’s a horse that I’d be really looking forward to going over extended trips in the future, in some of the those bigger handicaps.

“He could be an Irish National horse or one for Aintree, any of those extended races.

“I think he’s only coming to himself. He’s a very gross horse and it’s taken me a long time to get him fit.”

Jody Townend – who rode a Grade Two winner over hurdles for the stable on Sunday – then took the Leinster Reinforcements & Brazil Piling (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race with Redemption Day (2-1 joint-favourite).

Mullins said: “He’s had his problems but he’s coming right now, even on ground he didn’t like there.

“Jody got him lovely and settled and was able to use his bit of class.

“I think now we’ll head to Punchestown for the Champion Bumper.

“He has a little bit of class and hopefully he’ll go novice hurdling after that.”

In sixth place for Mullins in the National was We’llhavewan, who in turn was one place in front of his stablemate and 4-1 favourite Nick Rockett.

Mullins said: “I was really pleased with Minella Cocooner, he ran a cracker.

“Nick Rockett ran well as well, but just had too much weight.

“We’llhavewan just didn’t get home today but we do know he stays that trip.”

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